The Mets announced Wednesday that they’ve signed outfielder Nick Plummer to a one-year, Major League contract. The Cardinals opted to let the 25-year-old become a minor league free agent earlier this month rather than adding him to the 40-man roster. Plummer is repped by Wasserman.
The Cardinals likely gave at least some thought to keeping Plummer, given that he’s a former No. 23 overall pick (2015) who enjoyed a breakout season between Double-A and Triple-A this season. In 478 plate appearances across 117 games, Plummer raked at a .280/.415/.479 clip with 15 home runs, 20 doubles, six triples and 13 stolen bases (in 24 attempts). He played center field earlier in his career and has continued to do so into the upper minors, but he’s begun to see more time in the corners in recent seasons as well.
Strikeouts and struggles with opposing lefties have both been an issue for the left-handed-hitting Plummer in the past, but he improved in both areas in 2021. After striking out in 31% of his career plate appearances in the low minors, Plummer cut that to a more manageable 26.5% in 2021. He also slashed .315/.457/.534 in 92 plate appearances against lefties — a small but nevertheless encouraging sample for a former first-rounder who appeared to make strides in various areas.
Signing Plummer to a big league deal puts him on the Mets’ 40-man roster but also prevents the rare (but not unprecedented) scenario where he inks a minor league deal after Rule 5 protection day and then is subsequently selected by another club in the Rule 5 Draft. This is Plummer’s first addition to a 40-man roster and, as such, he still has all three minor league option seasons remaining. He’ll give the Mets an intriguing upper-level depth option in the outfield.
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